BMW Will Debut The 500-HP M8 GTE Race Car At Frankfurt

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Time to rip off that camo.

The Frankfurt Motor Show is a big deal for German automakers. It's on their home turf, after all. So it comes as absolutely no surprise that BMW has a big show planned, with the new 8 Series and Z4 Concepts, the all-new M5, 7 Series Edition 40 Jahre, refreshed i3, and a few SUVs all set for live showings. And then we've just learned this: the Le Mans-bound M8 GTE endurance racer will also have its official live debut. This was first revealed online in June, but it still had some camo covering its body.

All of its luscious details will be exposed next month, and maybe even some additional details. But here's what we know about it right now: The M8 GTE will compete in the GTLM Class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, replacing the M6 GTLM. It will also take part in the LMGTE class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, which means the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be in its schedule next June. But first it'll make its racing debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona, where it'll directly compete against the likes of the Porsche 911 RSR, Ferrari 488, Ford GT and Corvette C7.R. The M8 GTE is powered by a race-regulated turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 with more than 500 hp.

Yes, that's about 115 hp less than the street legal M8. However, the M8 GTE's unique chassis design and lighter weight will easily make up for the output loss. But even if you're not so much into racing, the M8 GTE is still a very important car. Why? Because BMW is still developing the road-going M8, and engineers will apply lessons learned from the M8 GTE program.

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